You may not know it from looking at us, but we are huge college basketball fans here at MMITM. Zander and I were talking about some things to watch for this upcoming season and it got me thinking, in this world of one and dones, which freshmen should we be watching this season? There are plenty of other players I could have put here, but I wanted to keep the list to five players so please don’t be upset with my list (or do, I will sleep just fine either way).
Romeo Langford: Indiana University
Pos: SG Height: 6’5 Weight: 191 lbs
Regarded as on the states most highly anticipated prospects, who some have even called one of the best Indiana prospects of all time, Langford chose to stay home and play ball for Archie Mille and the Hoosiers. A possible one and done type of player who could be a lottery pick in next year’s NBA Draft, Langford will hope to make good on his time in Bloomington. It would be shocking if Langford did not start right away for IU this fall with everything he brings to the table. His length and stride makes running the court look effortless as he soars to the rim for an easy slam. Langford is scrappy and plays hard each possession and gets after his own misses on the glass. Langford is a slashing, warrior of a SG who is not afraid of taking anyone one on one to the rim and will jump with the best of them. Simply put, he is really, really athletic. If Miller uses Langford right this fall, IU could be in for a surprisingly fun season.
Darius Garland: Vanderbilt University
Pos: PG Height: 6’3 Weight: 170 lbs
Arguably the biggest commitment Bryce Drew has penned as the coach of the Commodores, Garland, a Nashville local, could have gone to Duke and been a part of their star-studded class but chose to stay home. The PG has incredible athleticism with the tools to be a top PG in SEC next season. He is a quick player with the ability to slash to the rim, hit a big three, and has impressive court vision. Vanderbilt will be itching to get Garland and fellow top prospect Simisola Shittu (6’9 220lbs PF) on the court this fall. Could this help Vanderbilt compete in the east the season with the likes of UK and Florida, who always have strong teams? This will be one player and one team to watch this season, especially in conference play.
R.J. Barrett: Duke University
Pos: PG Height: 6’7 Weight: 200 lbs
The top rated prospect in the entire class signed his LOI with Duke and it was a huge get. Already regarded as the most pro ready teenager, Barrett will have a season to shine under Coach K and follow many fellow Blue Devils to NBA stardom. Duke have a star studded class, including another player who makes my list, that has all the makings of a NCAA tournament winning side if they can come together and play as one team. Barrett is a freak and his highlight tape alone will have you ready to watch Duke take the court this season. He is regarded as a perfect 100 recruit on 24/7 Sports. That’s some high praise. He has incredible court vision, strength, and can shoot a nice jumper. Coach K and staff will be ready to have Barrett on court as soon as possible.
Bol Bol: University of Oregon
Pos: C Height: 7’2 Weight: 230 lbs
The son of legendary giant, Manut Bol, Bol Bol boasts an impressive resume of his own. Leading the way as of one of the most highly touted recruits in the country, Bol Bol could have gone to any school he wanted. He played on EYBL circuit with Nike and teamed up with good friend Shreef O’Neal (Shaq’s son), who will be attending UCLA in the fall. With a few games guaranteed against each other, it will be fun to watch the potential first round picks face off. Bol Bol landing with Oregon gives everyone on the east coast more of a reason to watch PAC-12 After Dark.
Zion Williamson: Duke University
Pos: SF/PF Height: 6’6 Weight: 275 lbs
It wouldn’t be a list about players to watch without including Internet sensation, Zion Williamson. Zion took the world by storm with his incredible athleticism and monstrous dunks. Due to the development of his jump shot and his raw potential, Zion looks to be a steal for Duke and Coach K this fall. Zion will surely be a one and done player with scouts already salivating at what might be with this kid. With a year under Coach K and his talented class joining him, Zion could be set for a huge year. Stay tuned for the Top 10 each night after this kid plays. Just because I am a nice guy, here’s a link to some ridiculous dunks from Zion to remind you of how athletic this kid is.
I know, I know. I am sure I missed some player who you were looking to read about, but don’t worry, this is just a way-too-early list for player to watch. Stay tuned this season on Meet Me In The Middle as we will cover College Basketball, the NBA Draft, and more big news out of college basketball this season. Zander is a big IU fan and I live and breath Ole Miss so it will be a fun year to watch both the Big Ten and the SEC, especially this fall.